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Windows vs. Ubuntu — Dell's Verdict

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-never-knew-it-was-so-simple dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 718

Barence writes "Remember how Dell put up a website declaring Ubuntu was safer than Windows, only to later change its mind? Well, the company has gotten right back into the Windows vs. Ubuntu debate with a highly sophisticated website arguing the pros and cons of each OS. People should choose Windows, argues Dell, if: they are already using Windows, are familiar with Windows, or are new to computers. People should choose Ubuntu if they're interested in open-source programming. Brilliant."

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It's about being truthful (1, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32953944)

It quite much comes down to that. It would be stupid and bad service not to tell that to users, especially those who like things just to work and want to play games too. Imagine if someone sold you a product that you don't know much about but only how you want it to work, and it wouldn't. Most users would feel the same way when they thought that all their programs and games would work.

Re:It's about being truthful (5, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32953996)

Irons with labels that tell you to remove your clothes before attempting to iron them are being truthful, too - but anyone who need a label to tell them that is probably too stupid to be allowed to get near an iron.

Re:It's about being truthful (1, Interesting)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954134)

Irons with labels that tell you to remove your clothes before attempting to iron them are being truthful, too - but anyone who need a label to tell them that is probably too stupid to be allowed to get near an iron.

There's a difference, because doing that can seriously harm you. Not knowing the difference between Windows and Ubuntu is only an inconvenience for the user when their stuff doesn't work. It's also an inconvenience that will get them angry at the company that sold the computer for them, and don't you think it would be better for the company to inform their customers what they are buying and what they should buy based on their needs and expectations?

I call that good customer service.

Re:It's about being truthful (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954210)

The question is, if you have no idea what Ubuntu is, then why did you choose it?

Re:It's about being truthful (0, Troll)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954264)

The question is, if you have no idea what Ubuntu is, then why did you choose it?

That is the exact point here. Dell is telling customers which OS they should choose so they are capable to make the choice. Personally I'm a little bit surprised they didn't note the games, but casual people buying a computer don't necessarily know that they need Windows for their apps to work. Dell is just helping these casual users.

Re:It's about being truthful (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954282)

Peer pressure mostly.

Re:It's about being truthful (4, Interesting)

blai (1380673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954360)

The question is, if you have no idea what Ubuntu is, then why did you choose it?

Must a man seek alternatives with a reason other than a head full of curiosity?

Re:It's about being truthful (2, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954382)

The question is, if you have no idea what Windows is, then why did you choose it?

See how everything's different when you switch the question around?

Re:It's about being truthful (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954190)


That's a terrible parallel to Ubuntu vs. Windows. For what it's worth, I'm a long time user of Linux - started off with an early SuSE then moved to Slackware. These days, I use either Gentoo (preferred) or Ubuntu (anything other than my main dev box I can't be bothered setting up Gentoo on). And you know what? I'd recommend Windows 7 to most people. I have it on my laptop and though I personally sometimes run into limitations on it, they're not limitations most people will encounter. I can't see my mother complaining that she can't open a bash shell for example.

Ubuntu is probably the easiest Linux out there, but it's not as easy as Windows 7. Some of that results from the world in general being set up for Windows, rather than for Linux, and some of it is due to Ubuntu not being as slick or hassle-free as Windows 7. If you want security, then people are less likely to hack your Linux box than they are a Windows one, that's for sure, and you're not very likely to pick up a virus or be tricked into running some trojan. So as the summary states, there are arguments for and against. But it's pretty far from the truth to start talking about people who don't know enough to remove their clothes before ironing. I need a lot from my OS so I use Linux. But if I just wanted to surf, write emails and do some light word-processing, I have to say Windows 7 would be fine for me. My laptop which is primarily used for those things, has Windows 7 on it for this reason. If I need to do anything more on it, I just open a remote shell to my main system and use Screens and that's good enough for me.

Re:It's about being truthful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954010)

It quite much comes down to that. It would be stupid and bad service not to tell that to users, especially those who like things just to work and want to play games too. Imagine if someone sold you a product that you don't know much about but only how you want it to work, and it wouldn't. Most users would feel the same way when they thought that all their programs and games would work.

SquarePixel is sopssa [slashdot.org] 's new account. Last sopssa comment: 2010.07.07 9:12 and the first SquarePixel comment: 2010.07.08 3:08 Time to start a new account again, buddy. Only a matter of time before your troll flamebait shill speech goes negative by default ...

Re:It's about being truthful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954144)

Who is sopssa and why everyone seems to hate him? I'm curious.

Re:It's about being truthful (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954242)

Who is sopssa and why everyone seems to hate him? I'm curious.

He's a paid Microsoft shill. You can read his comments and any story with Microsoft he would try to defend them and say it was okay what they were doing. He'll keep starting new accounts and reading with sopssa since it's a paid account he sees the stories early and that's how he gets the first post as SquarePixel. SquarePixel is not a paid account so there's no way they can get first post so often unless they have a paid account to read the plums with (that's the sopssa account). Basically his account went negative karma and kept going up and down as he would post seemingly helpful comments to non-microsoft articles and then step it with sheer stupidity when microsoft was involved.

Long story short: paid shill for MS.

Re:It's about being truthful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954432)

He's just a troll. Check his account, over half his posts are modded as troll, flamebait, etc.

Basically, the guy is a douche.

Re:It's about being truthful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954148)

Dell, offers support, and there barebones even for home users is 1 year next bussiness day onsite even if you choose no support.
Can you imagine the support that would be required for most people on linux, grandma doesn't care whether it's open source or not.

Re:It's about being truthful (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954186)

Choose UBUNTU if:

  • You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS

That's not 'truthful', that's paid options that are actually marketing.

frost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32953948)

frosty piss, bitches.

Macs (-1, Flamebait)

Gantic (460802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32953980)

They omitted the "Use a Mac if you're an uptight self-concious bellend" option

Re:Macs (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954076)

Now there's an original sentiment. Did you sit up all night coming up with that, or was it just spur-of-the-moment brilliance prompted by an unrelated story?

Re:Macs (-1, Flamebait)

Gantic (460802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954136)

Their mistake was reasonably obvious, but I felt it should be pointed out so mere laymen could understand the full repertoire of options available. Inevitably the first Mac user to read my comment proves the point immediately. Story checks out.

Re:Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954108)

I guess it makes sense you'd feel belligerent and confused - I would be too, if I had your mental capacity (from your "blog"):

"Have been pretty depressed the last couple of days and not really sure why. It all culminated in me throwing my mouse at the monitor after losing an £800 pot to some fish."

Re:Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954112)

Wow! So there really is an option for me?

I've never felt so welcomed! *sniff*

amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32953988)

Choose UBUNTU if:

        * You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS

Difficult to argue with this logic.

It will stay small (0)

kamukwam (652361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32953998)

This is also the reason why Ubuntu, or Linux, will never become a major player in the consumer OS market.

Re:It will stay small (0, Troll)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954410)

Faulty reasoning is faulty.

Repositories for the win (3, Interesting)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954000)

I'm a Mac user, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ubuntu to someone new to using computers. It really is as simple to use as Windows, and repositories are huge win for usability and security.

Re:Repositories for the win (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954090)

I'm a Mac user, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ubuntu to someone new to using computers. It really is as simple to use as Windows, and repositories are huge win for usability and security.

I'm an advanced user and I don't every want to know what a repository is. My mom definitely doesn't give a shit.

Re:Repositories for the win (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954132)

I'm a Mac user, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ubuntu to someone new to using computers. It really is as simple to use as Windows, and repositories are huge win for usability and security.

I'm an advanced user and I don't every want to know what a repository is. My mom definitely doesn't give a shit.

You don't have to know what a repo is. The default works just fine for 99.999% of users. However, if you are curious and want something the repo doesn't offer, you are free to add whatever repos you like.

Then again, an "advanced" user would know this.

Re:Repositories for the win (5, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954146)

I'm an advanced user and I don't every want to know what a repository is. My mom definitely doesn't give a shit.

So call it an "app store", except all the apps are free. Your mom will eat it up.

Re:Repositories for the win (4, Informative)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954306)

That's exactly what Ubuntu is moving towards. They're integrating the entire Synaptic Package Manager and Update Manager GUIs into the "Ubuntu Software Center", where you can search for, install and upgrade apps in one place. It's actually not a bad idea, though I still prefer the extra information that Synaptic provides on progress.

Re:Repositories for the win (-1, Troll)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954358)

That's not all his mom will eat up.

Re:Repositories for the win (-1, Flamebait)

NNKK (218503) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954162)

I'm an advanced user and I don't every want to know what a repository is. My mom definitely doesn't give a shit.

You'd rather hunt through the web for applications, install them manually (assuming their installers even work; how many Windows and Mac installers have I run that are just broken in some serious way? quite a lot), and keep them up to date manually or through their wildly varying auto-update mechanisms (which, again, vary wildly in quality and reliability)?

You're not an advanced user, you're a masochist. And so's your mom.

Re:Repositories for the win (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954400)

You're not an advanced user, you're a masochist. And so's your mom.

Would you happen to have her number?

Re:Repositories for the win (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954198)

Uh, dude, it's what allows Ubuntu to have a (free!) app store sitting right there in the menu bar. You don't need to know what it is to use it. Adding apps is as simple as searching or navigating by category and clicking 'install'. It's seriously easy to use, and has big advantages for security. The apps in the default repository are screened, and cover most things you'd ever want to do. No more searching the internet, downloading random app that 'looks ligit', and istalling it manually.

I wish Macs had something similar. In fact, I bet it's going to be in the next release of OS X.

Re:Repositories for the win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954248)

I'm an advanced user

Yeah. Probably not.

Re:Repositories for the win (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954258)

You don't need to know what a repository is, you just go to Ubuntu Software Centre and double click to install apps

Re:Repositories for the win (0, Flamebait)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954280)

switch (AC) {
case NOT_ADV_USER :
case LOW_ENGLISH_CAPACITY:
case WINDOWS_FANBOY:
case SUPER_ADV_USER: /*writes own byte code*/
case TROLL: printf("I'm an advanced user and I don\'t every want to know what a repository is.");
printf(" My mom definitely doesn\'t give a shit.");break;
default: break;
}

Re:Repositories for the win (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954184)

Yeah, I think there are a couple Linux distributions that really are "ready" and will actually provide a better experience for normal stuff (e.g. web browsing, email, word processing). A bunch of free apps, kept up to date through a single updater, all free.

However, I've still had some problems with hardware support in a couple cases (each Ubuntu release seems to fix some problems and introduce others) and you're still missing some commercial packages that might be vital for a lot of users (e.g. Photoshop, where GIMP is pretty good but might still not be a viable alternative).

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for someone to try out, but I'd hesitate to claim, "this will do everything you want and you won't have any problems". But to be fair, I'd hesitate to claim that about OSX or Windows, either.

Re:Repositories for the win (2, Interesting)

NNKK (218503) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954352)

However, I've still had some problems with hardware support in a couple cases (each Ubuntu release seems to fix some problems and introduce others)

At this point, Linux hardware problems are not significantly different from Windows hardware problems (e.g. a fresh install of Linux on any given PC is at least as likely to run fine as Windows, probably more likely since more up-to-date drivers are included), but they're harder to fix when they do occur due to lack of direct manufacturer support.

In Windows it's usually "go download the driver from the manufacturer's site", in Linux that's less likely to be an option, and if it is, the installation process is probably going to involve the command line, which scares people.

and you're still missing some commercial packages that might be vital for a lot of users (e.g. Photoshop, where GIMP is pretty good but might still not be a viable alternative).

If you already own such packages, most of them work well in Wine these days (and Wine is a lot easier to use than it was in the past, though still not what it should be).

Re:Repositories for the win (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954368)

I agree with you. I would try to find out what someone wanted to do with their computer before recommending anything. But I thing Ubuntu has got killer features for the novice wanting to do internet-centric stuff.

Novices probably don't need Photoshop, Krita seemed pretty good to me when I played around with it.

Typical Microsoft price lobbying (4, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954004)

If you don't change your mind we'll stop providing you with cheap licenses and Gold Partner status and cut off your MSDN subscription. I worked for a couple of Gold Partners and it's the same everywhere, Microsoft uses it's monopoly status and high prices to force people into compliance.

Ubuntu is good enough for most people especially when pre-installed on a computer. Unless you're just plain stupid you will be able to work with it and do whatever you need to do. Sadly Windows is so ingrained in users that are resistant to change that it's hard to change platforms for a lot of people.

Re:Typical Microsoft price lobbying (5, Insightful)

Kepesk (1093871) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954324)

Agreed. And I'm amused by the fact that Dell's #1 reason people would want to use Ubuntu is that they do not plan to use Windows. Really informative guys. Great job. If they were really interested in marketing Ubuntu, they might have displayed at least one actual reason they might want to get it that didn't involve terms like 'open-source programming' which most people don't understand.

Looks more like (1)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954012)

if (os!=windows)

os=ubuntu;

Re:Looks more like (1)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954060)

#!/bin/sh
os=`uname`
if [ "$os" = "Linux ]; then
    echo "Use Linux"
else
    echo "Use cygwin"
fi

Re:Looks more like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954356)

I run GNU/Hurd you insensitive clod!

Re:Looks more like (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954416)

I use FreeBSD, you insensitive clod!

I heart Ubuntu (1)

Mekkah (1651935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954014)

I heart Ubuntu, but I wouldn't have my parents use it.

Ubuntu can be a challenge at times, there are pros and cons to everything, I'm glad they are at least partially bringing it to light.

I disagree (4, Interesting)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954084)

I set my parents up with an Ubuntu machine. On the desktop are icons for: Solitaire, Google, and Yahoo! Mail. They have not had a problem since I moved them to this setup.

Re:I disagree (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954120)

Last time I tried my parents on Linux (Ubuntu, openSuSE), I had problems with (1) Flash video, (2) Printing/Scanning with a Canon printer (took a long time of digging to find Linux drivers for it), and (3) Some minor sound glitches.

It was also actually slower than Windows 7, which was strange and surprised me. Not sure if it was just hardware/driver related.

Re:I disagree (2, Insightful)

kamukwam (652361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954176)

I set my parents up with an Ubuntu machine. On the desktop are icons for: Solitaire, Google, and Yahoo! Mail. They have not had a problem since I moved them to this setup.

Ever since I started reading slashdot parents have been used to portray the computer user with no knowledge of computers at all. I wonder for how long this will stay like that. I mean, at some point even slashdot-readers will get children.

Re:I disagree (5, Interesting)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954286)

My 67 year old father built his own computer and installed hackintosh and kubuntu on it, and he has windows 7 running in a vm in paralells or something. My 92 year old grand mother is skyping with her 102 year old cousin across the pond. Things are changing :)

Re:I disagree (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954342)

You think the kind of people that read slashdot will get children? lol

Re:I heart Ubuntu (1, Interesting)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954094)

Windows can be a challenge at times, there are pros and cons to everything. And I really mean that! I firmly believe that both my sentence and your's are true

Re:I heart Ubuntu (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954158)

I put Ubuntu on the machine and told them I just changed the wallpaper.

Re:I heart Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954222)

I too set my parents up with Ubuntu, and they love it. They no longer get viruses, as my Dad puts it "it's more simple", it makes good use of their old computer's limited hardware and everything they love to do, they can do:
  * Web browsing
  * Checking email (Mum uses gmail, Dad uses Evolution)
  * SIP (We use Ekiga for video chats)
  * Storing and downloading photos
  * My Mum plays all the games that come bundled with Ubuntu
  * [luckily] their Epson multifunction printer / scanner worked out of the box.
  * Word Processing

I think Ubuntu is great for uber-geeks and it's great for complete noobs, but it's the people in between it doesn't fit so well - like my sister who needs Photoshop for her college course, and my brother who likes to buy the odd computer game, and expects it to work out of the box.

Re:I heart Ubuntu (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954296)

My parents have been using Ubuntu for the better pat of the last five years, and the only time I've had to come take a look at it is when they were having printer driver issues. For people who want basic functionality out of their PC, such as ability to surf, write documents, listen to music, check e-mail, and play some basic games, I maintain Ubuntu is the perfect OS. I think linux distributions in general have come a long way in the last few years. Last night I installed OpenSUSE on my laptop and it was painless. All hardware was auto detected, and the amount of input from me was less than that required to install Windows 7. I believe KDE 4.4 has more eye candy than Win7 as well and runs quite well. (Core 2 Duo, 1.6Ghz, integrated graphics) I could have stopped right there and had a fully functional PC out of the box. The fact that it comes with an array of hand picked software is a nice touch as well. It saves you the hassle of trying to find an office suite, media player, photoshop alternative, etc.

I think a lot of /. crowd may be overestimating how the average user utilizes their PC today. It explains thy the iPad is even allowed to exist: give the people what they want.
My 2cents. (Canadian)

Re:I heart Ubuntu (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954322)

I heart Ubuntu

You could have saved one letter by using the correct word 'love'.

Re:I heart Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954330)

I installed Ubuntu on my mom's laptop. It's been a success because:
1) It was impossible for it to be worse than Vista. Seriously. One day Vista up and decided that she wasn't worthy of wireless connectivity or VPN access, and the only solution I could find online was "flatten, reinstall, pray it doesn't happen again".
2) I have the same model laptop, and therefore already knew how to fix the little quirks in the system.
3) All she uses on the laptop is VPN, Citrix, and Skype, plus a little e-mail. All of which were set up fairly easily (Citrix had some certificate-related annoyances), and work well.

All in all, Ubuntu is vastly easier for her to work with (especially getting on VPN), and most of the problems I encountered setting things up wouldn't have been encountered if Ubuntu had come pre-installed. And it's certainly more secure than Windows and its remote-exploit-du-jour.

Configurability or Games? (5, Funny)

philipborlin (629841) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954024)

I love the way the Windows screen shot shows the control panel as if Windows' strong point is configurability. Contrast that with the Ubuntu screen shot which shows installed games as if Ubuntu's strength is its games.

Re:Configurability or Games? (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954420)

because configurability != number of options

You may not like it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954026)

...but it is true as far as Dell's customers are concerned.

Linux is not for Everyone (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954046)

I am a linux geek. I run linux because it suits my needs and is dependable.

I would love for everyone to run linux, but the reality is that it is not for everyone. I have tried to convert others, but ultimately they end up back in Windows/OSX. There is nothing wrong with that.

For many computers just need to get "Task X" done. If Windows is the easiest way to get that done, then so be it...

WINDOWS programs like Microsoft Office and ITunes (1)

Internal Modem (1281796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954048)

With quotes like "You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc)," it's clear who the target audience is.

Re:WINDOWS programs like Microsoft Office and ITun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954166)

it's clear who the target audience is.

Brainwashed idiots?

TFA should be tagged informative (5, Insightful)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954054)

Really. It hurts Linux when people log in and ask for MS Word. It is important to be sure your customer is getting what he wants.

The only part that is gonna get flamed is the last bit on Windows Section: "use windows if you are new to using computers". They should have left this bit out of both sides, IMO. Windows is good to newbies because they can get help more easily from friends, but it is not easier to use than Ubuntu. Just the idea of the software center like ubuntu's goes miles ahead for those who are new to computers

Re:TFA should be tagged informative (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954150)

"It doesn't hurt Linux when people log in and ask for MS Word and get Open Office"
Oblig. FTFY
Really, it doesn't. The people that can tell the difference can figure it out.

Re:TFA should be tagged informative (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954284)

I am not sure if I agree with you. It is important that the users understand they are not using MS Word. I love OpenOffice and use it even on Windows, but it is not the same thing. IMO, the typical Dell user would freak out about it.

Re:TFA should be tagged informative (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954430)

Nope your wrong.
I use Open Office but it really isn't all that much like the current version of Word.
Calc has real issues compared to Excel.
For the Price OO is really very good but it isn't Office.
Also some people don't want to have to "figure it out" they just want to get the job done.
So, no you are wrong.

Re:TFA should be tagged informative (2, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954378)

The only part that is gonna get flamed is the last bit on Windows Section: "use windows if you are new to using computers". They should have left this bit out of both sides, IMO.

Yeah. If you're new to computers (who is, these days?), you should use a command line. Seriously, you should. There's no more intuitive way to use a computer than typing in commands as text and having it respond in kind, expect perhaps speech recognition. Compared to that a graphical user interface is far harder to use.

When I used Linux, the one application I used the most was gnome-term running bash. Bash is also the only Linux app I really miss on Windows: I could automate pretty much anything, could do pretty much anything, and didn't need someone write a wizard to do basic stuff.

Alternatively, GUIs need to move beyond their current state to actually allow complex operations. As is, they usually just get in the way.

One last thing: Ubuntu, why did you name "download and install new software" to "Synaptic package manager"? I mean, seriously, WTF? Are you trying to make it difficult for newbies to figure out what it does? Or maybe you figured it would appeal to neurosurgeons?

Re:TFA should be tagged informative (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954422)

Just the idea of the software center like ubuntu's goes miles ahead for those who are new to computers

Ubuntu is streets ahead in general.

New to computers (5, Insightful)

gorzek (647352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954058)

I would argue with the "new to using computers" bullet. If you're new to computing, exactly why would it be easier to learn Windows than Ubuntu? Both have their arcane peculiarities and unique paradigms you'd have to get accustomed to.

Hell, if you are totally new to computers and have no interest in learning much of anything about how they work, I'd suggest getting a Mac. Then you need never worry yourself about the internals, it "just works," as they say.

I say this as someone who doesn't use a Mac. Apple built their reputation on being idiot-proof, and as far as I can tell, they live up.

Re:New to computers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954182)

I say this as someone who doesn't use a Mac. Apple built their reputation on being idiot-proof, and as far as I can tell, they live up.

as someone who does own a mac, it's more like a mac is a sealed ziploc bag full of dog poo, and the alternatives are flaming paper bags of dog poo.

neither one is idiot-proof.

Re:New to computers (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954276)

I'll take your word for it! I've just known a lot of Mac users, and they aren't very technical people. They seem to have a much lower level of frustration than the non-technical Windows users I deal with. Whether that's up to the platform or the individual person, I don't know. The Mac users just seem to be hassled less, overall, by the quirks of their platform.

Re:New to computers (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954268)

If you're new to using computers, chances are you don't have a lot of highly technical friends -- but they'll probably have some familiarity with Windows, so you can ask them for help. The new user is more likely to go to the store and buy Encarta on CD, and when they take it home and it doesn't work in Linux, then they're going to be confused and/or pissed off. There is more to "using a computer" than hitting keys and clicking mice, and that's something that often gets lost in these discussions. When your issue is wifi compatability, how are you going to debug your issue without familiarity with A) web search, and B) at least some idea of what question you need to be searching for to get relevant information. The barrier to entry is a lot lower for J Random User who just uses Windows like "everyone else" than the guy who wants to be different for some, probably misguided, reason.

Re:New to computers (4, Insightful)

papasui (567265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954308)

Point #1 The thing about using linux (even kidified linux), is that it's going to be harder to find the answer to how you do something that's not obvious to a novice user. It's pretty easy to find someone that can walk you through a couple basic things on Windows because they poses the lion's share of the market. You might get lucky and find someone familiar with linux but there's a lot fewer of them out there. Point #2 With a Windows system you can go to Wal-mart and buy a copy of most current software titles. Linux not so much, sure there's resipositories which applications that do about the same thing as some Windows counter-part but when someone says you need 'Microsoft Word' to a new person they may not associate 'Open Office' as being the same sort of program. I'm not saying a new user couldn't be sucessful with Linux but they certainly would have some challenges ahead of them.

Re:New to computers (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954354)

Hell, if you are totally new to computers and have no interest in learning much of anything about how they work, I'd suggest getting a Mac. Then you need never worry yourself about the internals, it "just works," as they say.

Somehow I'm not surprised that Dell doesn't offer that advice.

Re:New to computers (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954408)

"New to computers" is probably their euphemism for "stupid." Stupid people would benefit from Linux's virus resistance, no doubt. But they're also going to be the kind of people who won't understand why their new computer won't run the software they just bought at Best Buy. So it could be argued either way.

Personally, I wish stupid people would just stay away from computers and the internet altogether.

They missed gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954114)

Which is the best reason to go Windows as your native OS. Frankly, I think people who are interested in open-source programming should also go windows as your Linux instances can easily be hosted in a VM. I don't install anything but games and portable apps on my native windows host. I surf in a vm and support various dev environments of many OSes in vms. If you don't do gaming, you could go Linux native and do windows in a VM.

Not entirely accurate. (4, Interesting)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954122)

For most users *any* platform will do. Be it, Windows, Linux or OS X.

Most users will use the computer for Facebook, Twitter, MSN messenger and such. Unless you are a gamer or absolutely need to run a Windows-Only application, ANY OS will be able to get the job done, Windows being the less secure of them for non-techies.

Ubuntu screenshot (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954128)

BTW, which version of UNR is shown at Dell's site? It deosn't seem like 10.4. I mean, is it UNR right?

Re:Ubuntu screenshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954292)

It's Dell's own UNR. It can easily be switched off. There are a few additional customizations and inclusions to the base Ubuntu 8.04 that comes installed. All in all it, very stable, but they make it a PITB to upgrade to 10.04.

Clearly, this is Jobs' fault. (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954130)

I don't know how to link it to Antennagate, but the connection's there, I'm sure.

Windows Programs (-1, Offtopic)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954154)

"You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc"

Ah, so no Thunderbird,Openoffice and Firefox on Ubuntu? Guess I have to stick to Windows so I don't need to learn those new.

On the positive side (3, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954202)

At least Ubuntu gets mentioned and it's not only the classic "Dell recommends Microsoft Windows operating system".

I'm sorry if this comes off as flamebait but... (1, Flamebait)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954204)

...we require hundreds of hours of training (supposedly anyway) to operate a motor vehicle but we require nothing to operate a computer? (Yes I know a computer can't usually kill someone when misused but it still can ruin someone's life.)

AFAIK there should be a training requirement for operating anything other than a kiosk-mode system. _Especially_ basic security.

On some level though that's being handled by learning to use computers in the school system so a large amount of this stuff will fall off when the current generation of offspring come to power. (Though you can also argue that since many of them were trained on Windows the 'sins of the past' so to speak will still haunt us.)

As far as the Dell website is concerned it doesn't even mention Macintosh and regardless of if you love or hate them it's still a glaring omission.

For my money though things like Mint Linux (an Ubuntu flavor) are easy enough for my mother to use and would go a long way towards having to deal with service calls 5 hours away when she runs into a problem. I wouldn't just have her dump her Windows cold though - a dual boot would likely be first.

Huh? (1)

jfoobaz (1844794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954318)

As far as the Dell website is concerned it doesn't even mention Macintosh and regardless of if you love or hate them it's still a glaring omission.

I'm not sure exactly how Dell's failure to mention a competitor's products on their website is a glaring omission. They can (and do) offer Ubuntu and Windows, so it makes sense to mention those options. OS X is only available from a competing hardware manufacturer; why should they do marketing for them?

Re:I'm sorry if this comes off as flamebait but... (2, Insightful)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954338)

Why the heck would they have Macintosh there? They don't sell Macintosh. They do sell computers that run Windows and Ubuntu though.

Ubuntu would be perfect for a new user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954212)

If you're new to using computers and don't have family or friends who can "help" then ANY friendly OS/distro is best. You're going to be learning new stuff anyway, so how is learning on Windbloze any different than Ubuntu or Mac.

Every OS sucks in one way or another anyway. Use the one that sucks least for you. Being virus free for a newbie user sure would have it's benefits.

Is it just me? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954228)

Is it just me, or did anyone else get the impression that Dell did Ubuntu a disservice by showing it's screenshot as a smaller image.

Seriously, check it out:
http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/windows_or_ubuntu?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs [dell.com]

Ubuntu's image is 288x162. Windows is 271x204. A bit narrower, but a lot taller.

It makes Ubuntu look like the smaller "beginner" or "toy" choice, which is wholly inaccurate IMHO.

Their reasons are valid: if you're tied to existing Windows apps then sure, go with Windows. Otherwise though, Without legacy baggage, Ubuntu competes quite nicely against Windows or MacOS. Heck the only thing I even remotely needed from Windows was iTunes. I've got an iPod Touch, and dang it, it's the only way to sync it (Linux apps can copy over files, but I've not found anything to truly keep a music collection/podcasts synced up like iTunes). Even that will be going away though once I upgrade my cell phone to an Android model in a few months, at which point iTunes is getting ditched for Banshee.

PIA (2, Interesting)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954232)

Ubuntu 10 has been a PIA for me. As an experienced administrator I am largely OS agnostic. I learned to program on Solaris and VAXVMS, I owned a Clamshell through college, and in the business world have been working with MS. However like many I am heavy on the Windows side.

Ubuntu 9 was fine, but it was missing a couple libraries that were dependencies for Fuse 2.8. Not to mention that SMB is broke in 10, the GUI is just awful because it doesn't allow for easy 'run as root'. Want to edit smb.conf, you are SOL unless you go through CLI or create a custom link to your favorite editor. I have no problem going CLI only either, except that in Ubuntu 10 everything has been moved into a slew of *.d directories. As a newbie to 10, where the hell is anything you are looking for? You use the find command and good ol ubuntu leaves out crucial syntax points in their man pages...Often my biggest issue in Ubuntu is not so much that I dont know what I want to do, but rather, I cant find what I want to do. I ahve pretty advanced knowledge of firewalls and routers but WTF do you do when you cannot find the conf file or force it to reload?

For now I think I am going to be sticking with redhat derivatives...seems to be more support there.

If ubuntu wants to win over more windows folk, they really really need to fix that dammed GUI, or at the least work on encouraging the community to be more active. I have 3 separate threads asking for help on either iSCSI, SMB, or NFS. Only got 2 hits and they only posted twice before going MIA. You would think that Ubuntu would be better at supporting communication between windows and Linux.

trying to buy more of the N-series (1)

rapiddescent (572442) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954238)

The tragedy is that if you try to "Shop for Ubuntu laptops" from the Dell Ubuntu [dell.co.uk] page that the example from the TFA is linked to - every single option is Microsoft Windows!!! There are NO Ubuntu products for sale! You can't even deselect the operating system.

I bought Dell Nseries laptops for my business in the UK 2 years ago when they were on sale at Dell, mostly XPS M1330N and 1525N - we have no upgrade option at all and cannot replace with Dell. Everytime I ring a Dell account manager, they just say "Windows 7" like some sort of demented zombie and they cannot make any guarantees about whether the chipset will work with Linux. They also send us all the "Dell recommends Windows 7" business marketing - we have never bought a Microsoft product from Dell.

Despite that, we have been very happy with the N-series, especially the XPS M1330N laptops. They are still current and really the only replacements are for those dunked in coffee or left on trains etc.

DELL - ARE YOU LISTENING? THIS IS A PISSTAKE.

Windows vs. Ubuntu — Dell's Verdict (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954246)

A $200 - £100 computer (with linux or windows) is the future! Can windows maintain its profits at these margins, if not Linux wins the end.

feedback (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954262)

Just wanted to point out to everyone that there is a handy-dandy animatey feedback link on the page as well. :)

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954274)

Office 2010 or Open Office?, I'd really have to sit down and spend some time considering which is better....

Gross oversimplification, but . . . . (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954288)

Install Ubuntu *and* Windows. Dual boot or use virtualization software. If you value freedom above most other things, as I do, then use Linux whenever possible, and 'Doze whenever you have to. Otherwise, use either, or both, whichever one best meets your needs at the time.

The computer in our guest room runs Ubuntu.. (4, Interesting)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954328)

The extent of the instructions I give guests is, "This is not Windows, it's Linux, but it works pretty much the same. Here's the Firefox icon up here." Family and friends ranging in age from 10 to 70 have used it with no problems. Those who need to are able to work on business documents that they brought on a USB drive and can print to the inkjet and laser printers on our home office network just fine.

I think I detect a little arm twisting on the part of MS here, but nobody is surprised at that.

When Dell came out with their pre-installed Ubuntu machines a few years back, I bought an E520N the day they became available so as to vote with my wallet that this was a very good idea for Dell.

Wine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32954364)

The two main bullet points for windows:

* You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them
* You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc

Wine, anyone? [winehq.org] Warning: Wine may not run bloatware crap like iTunes.
If you really can't let go of your bloatware, I recommend VirtualBox [virtualbox.org] .

How about this... (1)

MpVpRb (1423381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954402)

If you NEED Windows-only programs like Photoshop, MS Office, AutoCad etc...you MUST use Windows.

If you can use open source programs instead, like Gimp, Open Office, etc...you can use Ubuntu.

More of the same... (1)

xulfer (1368787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954414)

This is just more of the predictable Microsoft / OEM bait and switch. This is far from the first time that Microsoft has bought out, threatened, or trampled on OEM's that tried looking towards other products; and it certainly won't be the last.

compromise (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | more than 4 years ago | (#32954428)

where's the option for pre-installed dual-boot?
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